Our cat Scooter Thomas occasionally guest blogs for us. He requested time and space to address the financial crisis facing our country.
I fear I must once again dispel another vicious, slanderous feline stereotype that has reared its ugly head in the past two weeks. I refer specifically to that malicious slur one hears associated with Wall Street CEOs: “fat cat.”
A rough approximation of Scooter Thomas.
When exactly did “fat cat” become a pejorative term? Why must we be forever joined at the hip with the likes of this guy?
“I’m wearing gold underwear.”
That’s a money-grubbing Wall Street tycoon who wants to be unjustly compensated for dishonest behavior and reckless management. That is something wholly separate from an obese feline, a noble creature who should not be saddled with such crude, bigoted caricatures.
Who says our lives are spent in idle luxury, alternating between sleeping, eating and guest-blogging? I’ll tell you who: Nattering nabobs of negativism. Walk a mile in my shoes, you nabobs. Actually, I’d never really consider walking a mile myself. But everyone knows that’s just an expression anyway.
And why “fat cat”? Why not, say, “portly badger”? Or “roly-poly wallaby”? Maybe “rotund gibbon” or “corpulent marmot.” There are so many wonderfully husky creatures in the animal kingdom! Who exactly saddled us with this burden?
Such is our cross to bear. But I think it blows.
Incidentally, many people have been calling me for advice on managing their portfolio during this crisis. My advice: Stay calm. This is not the time to be doing anything drastic. Sit tight and weather this out. If I could offer a few words to the elected officials hashing things out in Washington right now, I would say: Equity participation is crucial here. If Treasury buys assets, it gets warrants that can be converted into equity if the price of the purchased assets falls. This both guarantees against a pure bailout of the financial firms, and opens the door to a real infusion of capital, if that becomes necessary — and I think it will.
This is, in fact, exactly what Paul Krugman put in his blog this week. But it’s not copying if he called me for my take and then printed it verbatim without giving me credit. Right back at you, Paul.